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Miekle at the double as Upton seal huge victory
7:40pm Monday 2nd December 2013 in Rugby
UPTON bagged their third Midlands Three West (South) win of the season in style, thrashing basement boys Shipston-on-Stour 51-12.
Despite missing players through injuries and holidays, they surged clear to go eighth in the table.
Matt Bookham and Matt Jeffreys were recalled after long absences and soon called into action off the bench.
Upton started brightly, if in a disjointed fashion, but failed to turn early pressure into points. After losing Rich Clive to injury, the hosts were caught cold on the blind-side when the big Shipston number eight rumbled over in the corner for an unconverted 10th-minute try.
But the score sprang Upton into life and, with the referee on their side, they kicked most penalties into the corner although Dan Keyte landed one to put them on the scoreboard.
Upton had the edge up front and, after a series of drives close to the line, Max Macfarlane picked up from the back of a ruck and went over with Keyte converting.
They could have stretched their lead — Alex Pimlow lost the ball as he dived for the line — but did add two more converted tries before half-time. Full-back Will Miekle touched down and then skipper Keyte intercepted a pass 20 metres out before running in to score.
The fly-half also added another penalty to make the score 27-5 at the break.
Upton looked for a bonuspoint try while trying to keep out Shipston. Martin Muleko was tackled and put into touch as he seemed certain to score.
But they settled their nerves and bagged the bonus point to put the match out of reach.
With Shipston tiring yet trying to throw the ball around, Upton picked up on the mistakes. Luke Sheppard collected a dropped pass to burst through from 30 metres under the posts.
Miekle added his second, scything through from 50 metres under the posts. With Keyte off the pitch receiving treatment, Rob Heeley slotted two easy conversions.
Finally, Pimlow made amends for his dropped ball in the first-half to score his customary try with Sheppard converting.